Skip to main content
Michael T Millar
Avvo
Pro

Michael Millar’s Answers

3,475 total


  • Deed in lieu or foreclosure in NJ?

    Hi, I own a house in Atlantic County, NJ. Due to the reduction of income, increasing expenses (had a baby) and worry about the economic future of the area, I stopped paying mortgage more than 3 years ago. In the mean time got a better job offer ou...

    Michael’s Answer

    You can call the lender and tell them you wish to do a deed in lieu of. Often, they will provide you with the paperwork. Note that although they likely won't sue you for any deficiency, they may also 1099 you for the write off so that you can get hit with a tax bill.

    See question 
  • I am recorded as SELLER on a document "Seller's residency certification/exemption" what does that mean?

    I intend to seek an attorney about this matter but I am trying to get things straight in my head. It also states that I own 1/3 of the property. /where else would I be recorded as owning same. My mom left her three kids a house 1/3 each in her wil...

    Michael’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Did you receive ⅓ of the net proceeds from the sale of the property? If so, you may not have any damages. Monmouth County land records are online. You should be able to go online and look at the deed to see who signed as seller.

    See question 
  • How to compel party to attend depositions?

    Party tells me that they refuse to come. Do I make a motion

    Michael’s Answer

    If you have properly noticed the deposition and it is within the geographic region permitted by the rules of court, then you can make a motion to compel the deposition or in the alternative to dismiss the other party's pleadings for their failure to make discovery.

    See question 
  • I have contracted a real estate agent for 6 months. I have found someone to buy my property myself will I still have to pay him?

    Commercial property.

    Michael’s Answer

    Your rights will be governed by the terms of your contract - the listing agreement - with the broker. Typically, the broker is entitled to a commission for any buyer procured during the period of the listing.

    See question 
  • Borrowing money from business partner in Europe for a real estate deal in the U.S.A.

    I have a capital partner in Europe (who is a U.S, citizen) who will be lending me money for a real estate investment. The details of the loan terms have all been worked out and the loan will be secured by real property. What unique factors shou...

    Michael’s Answer

    If the capital partner is a US citizen, then the present location of the partner is likely immaterial. I would specify both choice of law and venue to ensure that any dispute will be heard in a local court applying local law.

    See question 
  • Neighbors doing renovations on their house. If we allow their workers on our property are we liable for injuries or damages?

    These are neighbors who've sued other neighbors and contractors before and have a history of bad choices regarding who they hire and then not overseeing the work. I'd prefer not to let them on our property because I know from past experience that ...

    Michael’s Answer

    As the owner of the property, you are liable for an condition on the property that causes injury to another. Your homeowner's insurance should cover any claims. Speak to your insurance broker to ensure that you have the proper coverage.

    See question 
  • What are the next steps when a purchaser fails to close?

    Agreement for sale and purchase on a lot. Closing date gave purchaser time to obtain necessary building approvals. He failed to act expeditiously to obtain those approvals which may now take several more months to come through. No extension was gi...

    Michael’s Answer

    Your rights will be governed by your contract with the buyer.
    The contract typically contains language setting an "estimated" closing date. After that date has passed, you may set a "time of the essence" closing date. If the buyer does not close on the time of the essence closing date, then your cause of action arises. However, your contract may contain language making the first date a time of the essence date. Again, one would have to review your contract to see what your rights are.
    A buyer's breach typically give you the ability to terminate the contract and to put the property back on the market. You can later sue if you have any damages - for example if the lot sells for less or if you have carrying charges.
    Typically, a court will not order specific performance to purchase a property (as opposed to specific performance to sell), but will instead award damages.
    As a general rule, you may not retain the deposit as liquidated damages unless your contract specified that you had the right to do so.

    See question 
  • My late husband and I own our home jointly in Camden County NJ. Do I need to transfer the deed to my name before selling

    My husband passed away 4 months ago.

    Michael’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    It depends on what your deed says. If the deed says you and spouse, "Husband and Wife", "H/W" or something similar, then the deed created a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship so that the property became yours automatically when your spouse passed. In that case, a title company may require a copy of the death certificate to verify that you are the sole owner of the property.
    If, however, you purchased the property prior to marriage and the deed lists you as "tenants in common", then you may need an estate deed conveying your spouse's share to you.

    See question 
  • I listed my home for sale, the next day the agent came back and said I had to sign a disclosed dual agent form, do I have to?

    I specifically told the agent when she came to our home that I wanted a fiduciary relationship, she told me that if an agent from her agency had someone interested that then we could discuss a dual agent. She then came back the next day an told my...

    Michael’s Answer

    By law, a broker is required to obtain a signed Consumer Information Statement (CIS) from you. The CIS, among other things, explains the different types of agency. The broker is also required to inform in what agency capacity he or she is serving - e.g., listing agent, buyer's agent, dual agent or transaction broker.

    The broker has every incentive to sell your home quickly and to find a buyer for you. By refusing the dual agency, you put the broker in the position of telling interested buyers that they cannot represent the buyer in the purchase of your home. For a large national or regional brokerage, that means agents from other offices also cannot sell your home.

    Even in a dual agency you have a fiduciary relationship - it is simply more limited than if the broker did not represent both sides. The downside to a dual agency is that it affects what the broker and agent must tell the buyer and what they can tell you. This typically arises in price negotiations where the broker cannot tell you how high the buyer is willing to go and cannot tell the buyer how low you are willing to go.

    You will have to decide what is best for you, but a dual agency may speed up the process of selling your home.

    See question